Panaji: Days after Union minister Nitin Gadkari fired up speculations about the Chief Ministerial candidate in poll-bound Goa, BJP chief Amit Shah today said the next government in the state will “function under (Manohar) Parrikar’s leadership, irrespective of his posting”.
“Goa has given a big asset to the country in Manohar Parrikar. There is a huge demand for Parrikar in Delhi and also here in Goa. The people of Goa demand that we should send Parrikar back to the state,” Mr Shah said addressing a public meeting in Vasco town.
Goa will go to polls to elect the 40-member House on February 4.
“(Prime Minister) Narendrabhai (Modi) needs him (Manohar Parrikar) at the Centre as well. We will decide after elections where Parrikar will be working. But let me assure you that wherever Parrikar may be working, the Goa government will function under his leadership,” the BJP president said.
Speculations on who will don the mantle of Chief Minister of the coastal state reached feverish pitch after Mr Gadkari, the election in-charge of Goa, had said the chief ministerial candidate will either be chosen by the elected representatives or a leader could be sent from the Centre, perceived as a reference to Mr Parrikar.
Mr Parrikar, the former Chief Minister of Goa before he was elevated as Defence Minister, had recently said, “Let us cross the bridge when we come to it.”
In his address, Mr Shah also took a dig at BJP’s erstwhile ruling partner Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) which had severed its ties ahead of the state polls.
“Those who worked with BJP for five years have now separated themselves for the lust of power. I want to ask them what is your demand? Have you separated for power or for development. If you wanted development, we were already doing it. But if you have taken the step to gain power, you will have to reply to the people of Goa,” the BJP chief said without naming MGP.
MGP is now a part of the alliance where other constituents are Shiv Sena and the Goa Suraksha Manch, floated by RSS rebel Subhash Velingkar.
“…Goa has to decide whether it wants instability or development. Whether you want to see unemployment rising or you want a stable government. If we get a chance to rule for next five years, we will create 41,000 jobs in Goa which would be highest in the country. We are going to make Goa’s infrastructure world class,” he told the gathering.